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Discovery could lead to new cancer treatment

September 1, 2014



Discovery could lead to new cancer treatment

A team of scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine has reported the breakthrough discovery of a process to expand production of stem cells used to treat cancer patients. These findings could have implications that extend beyond cancer, including treatments for inborn immunodeficiency and metabolic conditions and autoimmune diseases.

Researchers from the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology and Taiga Biotechnologies, Inc. said they have uncovered the keys to the molecular code that appear to regulate the ability of blood stem cells to reproduce and retain their stem-like characteristics, phys.org said .

The team developed protein products that can be directly administered to blood stem cells to encourage them to multiply without permanent genetic modifications.

Use of stem cells to treat cancer patients who face bone marrow transplants has been a common practice for four decades. The biggest challenge, however, has been finding adequate supplies of stem cells that help patients fight infection after the procedure.

Researchers have long attempted to increase the number of blood stem cells in a lab. Most of those approaches have been limited by the nature of the resulting cells or the inadequate number of cells produced.

The technology has worked with blood stem cells obtained from cord blood, adult bone marrow or peripheral blood from adults.

The ability to multiply blood stem cells from any source in a dish will be critical for adoption of this new technology in clinics.

 

Cell phone addiction possible

Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cell phones and men college students spend nearly eight, with excessive use posing potential risks for academic performance, according to a Baylor University study on cell phone activity.

"That's astounding," said researcher James Roberts, PhD, The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "As cell phone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility," reported Science Codex.

The study notes that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cell phone, and some indicated they get agitated when it is not in sight, said Roberts, lead author of the article "The Invisible Addiction: Cell phone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students".

The study—based on an online survey of 164 college students—examined 24 cell phone activities and found that time spent on 11 of those activities differed significantly across the sexes. Some functions—among them Pinterest and Instagram—are associated significantly with cell phone addiction. But others that might logically seem to be addictive—Internet use and gaming—were not.

Excessive use of cell phones poses a number of possible risks for students, he said.

"Cell phones may wind up being an escape mechanism from their classrooms. For some, cell phones in class may provide a way to cheat," Roberts said.

Excessive or obsessive cell phone use also can cause conflict inside and outside the classroom: with professors, employers and families.

And "some people use a cell phone to dodge an awkward situation. They may pretend to take a call, send a text or check their phones," Roberts said.

Discovery could lead to new cancer treatment


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Source: Iran Daily


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